2019 saw more than 9.9 billion Ransomware and malware attacks – heavily impacting the healthcare, manufacturing and financial industries. And experts expect the damage to reach $6 trillion by 2021. What are we doing about it?
Ransomware attacks getting increasingly frequent and sophisticated. How vulnerable are you?
The ransomware landscape in 2019 remained alarmingly lively, with hackers continuing to target enterprises, public bodies and governments – sometimes with targeted, sometimes spray-and-pray approaches. A report by Emsisoft confirmed that 41% more organizations experienced these attacks in 2019.
Thus, it is advisable that businesses take necessary steps to avoid such threats in the future.
How to avoid ransomware attacks in 2020:
While there is no one ideal solution that can provide all-round protection from all known types of ransomware, take a look at Embee’s quick tips that can help you to lower the risk of these attacks:
1. Secure your IT infrastructure:
The importance of strengthening the security of your IT infrastructure cannot be overemphasized. You must have a robust intrusion prevention system (IPS) in place that includes a high-performance firewall and sandboxing support. It is important to adequately secure open ports. Reviewing port-forwarding rules is vital, as is making necessary changes along with finding alternative ways to access data. Your rules should be logical yet strict enough to manage the network traffic flawlessly. You can also avail Managed IT Services to ensure your IT infrastructure is monitored 24x7x365. This will help you to identify irregular and suspicious patterns and take necessary measures to stop an attack before it can enter your system.
2. Detecting Ransomware behavior:
No organization is immune to a ransomware attack. But businesses can implement Ransomware protection software to detect, identify and prevent such potential cyber attacks. Such systems use behavioral analysis to identify processes that act like ransomware – even if it’s not yet a specific known threat – and automatically backs up your files if it detects anything, thereby minimizing the damage.
3. Email security is the key:
Email is and will continue to be the primary target of ransomware and other types of cyber threats. Most ransomware attacks have been triggered by an email that carried an attachment, which started encrypting files upon download. To avoid such events, the thumb rule is to avoid opening emails from unknown senders and ensure all emails, even the ones from familiar senders, are scanned with an antivirus or antimalware software before downloading.
Organizations also have the option to password protect network shares according to username and password along with placing a limit on the data size that can be shared. They could also implement a data security software solution to check incoming emails before they are delivered from their mail server to the intended recipient.
4. Update and patch your systems
Updating your operating system regularly and applying the ‘fix’ that tech giants like Microsoft roll out at regular intervals, can take care of most vulnerabilities. Do ensure that the Windows Update on your systems is not broken in case you are using a supported operating system (such as Windows 10).
5. Educate your employees:
It is important to train employees adequately for dealing with the possibility of or the event of a ransomware attack. Some of the basic but effective steps include disconnecting the infected system from the internet and internal network as soon as possible, shutting down the system immediately and informing the IT security and administration departments. Apart from organizing regular workshops, the IT department must encourage all employees to stay updated about the latest security incidents. If any loophole is spotted anywhere, the IT department should immediately be notified.
6. Make backups:
Once a file is encrypted, very little can be done about it. However, taking regular backups, to both on the Cloud and physical disk drives, can considerably mitigate the risk of data loss. It is also important to ensure that your firewall is robust so that malware cannot target your backup files.
Preventing a situation is always more advisable than trying to fix a problem. In business, failing to be prepared for a security threat can prove to be very expensive, both economically and business perspective. Thus, it is better to be proactive and take steps to strengthen protection against ransomware today. To get a security audit of your IT infrastructure and prepare for possible threats, connect with us today.